While it has become more in trend to be culturally and socially aware or “woke”, it seems that there are still many media alongside fashion industries that are completely missing the point.
Gigi Hadid is a habitual offender of cultural appropriation. Her most recent offense is her cover spread on Vouge Arabia. There she is seen wearing a headscarf. Keep in mind that she is not Muslim and her connection to the middle east is her being half Palestinian.
And while there is no doubt of her Palestinian background, it is questioning how the only time she refers to that background is in justification to her actions.
However, Gigi is not fully to blame. The industry is.
The problem is not that there is a lack of women to accurately represent a specific cultural group, the problem is that these women are not being chosen based on a pre- conceived ideal that the media and fashion industry have been going by for years.
And companies seem to think that because they are not using “blackface” than then their method of showcasing is cultures is okay when actually they are creating a concept equally as bad as blackface.
When are we going to worry less about a culture being aesthetically pleasing and more about the culture itself? Some hijabi women struggle everyday between their religion and being the victim of a hate crime and that is something that just should not be sugarcoated.
Women and men of color really do exist. Now it is time for the industry to start using them.